30 Key Takeaways from the Facebook Success Summit

by Randy Duermyer on October 29, 2010

Like its predecessor, Social Media Success Summit 2010, the Facebook Success Summit offered a wealth of information on how best to use Facebook for marketing.

Here is a mashup of what I consider the most important takeaways from the entire Summit.

  1. Facebook became more than a social network when it eclipsed the 500 million user mark: it became its own ecosystem.
  2. There are so many users on Facebook now, users wonder where you are if you don’t have a brand page. But one of the reasons that many companies haven’t embraced Facebook yet is that they fear negative feedback.
  3. Don’t oversimplify social media. You HAVE to have a mission, define it and support it with your voice. Facebook can and should be a hub for expressing and carrying through on your mission.
  4. Facebook isn’t free. Your Facebook business presence will require planning time, building time, possible expenditures on third-party consultants, possible paid apps, operations time, content planning, execution time, tweaking, time for responding to Facebook changes, analysis and reporting time.
  5. Local businesses have become a larger part of Facebook’s ecosystem recently due to its support for micro-targeting. Facebook Places is one way that will allow businesses and users to connect on Facebook based on location data. Facebook has created an initial set of Place pages for nearly every publicly listed business in the U.S. Owners have to confirm ownership to edit and take control of the page.
  6. Facebook presents a huge international mobile opportunity and an increasing mobile opportunity in the U.S. Overseas, Facebook usage is more mobile and more focused on sharing location activities. Facebook has created a number of partnerships to accelerate the growth of Facebook internationally. In many countries, Facebook is the number one use for mobile.
  7. Some people prefer to hang out on Facebook while others prefer your blog. You want to engage both audiences to build a strong community. Facebook is more effective for building communities because blogs/websites lack many community building functions. For your Facebook Fan page to explode, your fans and your blog readers need to share common interests.
  8. Facebook Search now has the ability to show if your friends Like something within the search results. Facebook is still in the early stages of integrating content into the search experience. Facebook Search could be a very powerful concept as the number of Likes continues to grow by leaps and bounds and provides a means of social filtering.
  9. Having a clearly documented Facebook strategy provides an excellent road map for everything you do on Facebook. Know why you’re on Facebook and know what you’ll be measuring. The number of impressions is far more important than the number of fans.
  10. Carry over your company’s culture and purpose to Facebook. Integrate your values into your day-to-day Facebook activities and engage in open and honest communication. With Facebook, you need to continually earn engagement on a continuum – not through spikes and valleys.
  11. Custom Welcome tabs should be used for Fan pages as surveys have shown twice as many people who land on a custom Welcome tab will Like your page than those who land on your wall. The two most popular tabs will get 90% or more of total tab views. Your wall will always be one of those tabs.
  12. Facebook users can Like a Fan page via SMS by texting like yourfanpagename to 32665. Therefore, choosing an easy-to-remember name (custom URL) for your Fan page is paramount. You can only specify a custom URL for your Fan page after you’ve reached 25 Likes for your Fan page.
  13. Some easy ways to boost engagement with your fans: respond to every post using first names and greeting fans as friends, ask questions regularly, post third-party articles and encourage feedback from your fans.
  14. Create editorial guidelines. Establish set guidelines for monitoring your wall and decide in advance how best to respond to negative and off-topic comments. Strip out spam promptly and handle criticism/negative comments courteously and honestly.
  15. Be consistent and do updates regularly. This will make your page “sticky” and fans will continue to come back. Encourage shares and mentions. Don’t be afraid to ask for them.
  16. Outside of Facebook, use the Like button and other widgets on your site/blog. Link to your Facebook page from your other social media platforms. Use tools such as the Wibya toolbar. Promote your Facebook page offline too.
  17. Facebook ads give you access to hundreds of millions of people. You can push customers to a page, contest, your web site – more or less whatever you want, allowing you to create demand. Facebook advertising is available to all regardless of budget. (You can start with an ad spend of as little as $1 per day).
  18. Facebook provides ad targeting combinations that are virtually endless AND relatively inexpensive. Like other forms of advertising, Facebook advertising is an iterative process. You need to set up the ads, run ads on at least a seven-day cycle before judging their effectiveness, scrutinize your results and make adjustments.
  19. Social media, including Facebook, is about people talking to people. Users want to engage with you as a person and not so much engage with you as a business. You shouldn’t just post content that’s about you or geared to making a sale on your Fan page.
  20. What’s shown by default in a user’s news feed (their “home” page on Facebook) is determined by a Facebook algorithm that factors in how often the user interacts with your fan page/content, the type of interaction (comments are weighted heavier than likes) and the recency of your content/activity. Getting into the news feed is critical because once they Like your Fan page, your fans are highly unlikely to return to it directly.
  21. Videos and photos get stronger weight within Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, and photos and videos have been shown to have high rates of fan engagement. When using video, don’t just link to video on YouTube: upload the video to Facebook.
  22. Visitors are more engaged and stay longer when their real identity and real friends are driving the experience through social plugins installed on your website/blog, and the Like button and Fan box are two of the most important social plugins you can use with Facebook.
  23. Facebook is the perfect platform for promoting events, including conferences, parties, webinars and meetups. A lot of the same benefits available from your wall are available on Facebook Event pages. (Share, Like, etc.) Your Event page needs to be managed in the same way as your Fan page.
  24. If you want to generate buzz leading up to the event, don’t create the Event page until you’re ready to launch. As soon as you create the Event page in Facebook it will show up. Deleting it doesn’t prevent other users from seeing it in their feed.
  25. Guests can RSVP for your event from the Event wall. When your guests RSVP, it posts on their own wall and is sent out into the news feeds. When guests RSVP, they have the option to also include a personal note. The note shows on the Event wall and on their wall.
  26. Keep an eye out and get ready to take advantage of Facebook Questions, which is now in a testing phase. You can use the Questions feature to create a feedback channel, a customer support channel, poll your fan base or post questions to start a discussion. A poll option is also available where people can vote on what they think are the best answers.
  27. Most Facebook apps have moved into gaming or tools (tabs) for Facebook pages. Apps allow you to create a custom version of your brand right on Facebook as well as custom Like buttons for your website or blog.
  28. You may not see a direct tie-in to sales from your Facebook presence. Typically, the main benefits to engaging on Facebook include expanding the top of your lead funnel, increased website and blog traffic and click-throughs, brand building and engagement. Results may be tangible or intangible.
  29. Marketers should get used to being behind the eight ball and trying to keep up with social media. Social will become increasingly pervasive in your marketing efforts. In the meantime, keep building your social capital as your social assets (followers, likers, mentions, influence, etc.) could become some of the most important assets you have.
  30. Never be discouraged. Facebook (and social media) are always changing. If you feel like you’re not doing all you can do now, tomorrow’s another day.

Facebook Success Summit – Index of Session Takeaways

Did you attend the Facebook Success Summit 2010? If so, what were some of the most important takeaways for you? If not, what are your thoughts on the future of Facebook and your experiences with using Facebook and other forms of social media marketing as a marketing tool?

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